Saturday, April 14, 2012

Post-Op Blues

Here's what sucks about your child having eye surgery, in no particular order:

1. Medical tape - we have to use it to keep the shield on her eye and it turns the skin on her face all red. Plus it gets stuck in her hair and then it pulls her hair out when I have to take the shield off to do medicines, which means we go into medicines with her already pissed beyond belief. Fun!

2. Her tears - I hate it when she cries, but the surgery makes it even worse because every tear that falls from that poor left eye scares the crap out of me. It makes me scared that a stitch has let go and all the fluid in her eye is leaking out. I'm afraid the damned thing is going to deflate like a popped water balloon. Sorry if that's gross for you, but if I have to think it 17 times a day then I'm going to make you think it, too. Misery loves company.

3. The shield - It make her look like a bug. It's horribly conspicuous and people stare. Small children point. It requires tape to stay in place (see #1), when she's sleeping and she lays on it she gets uncomfortable and it wakes her up, and for all that trouble she can still get a finger underneath and rub at it. Which seems to hurt a LOT. Oh, and they couldn't even bother giving her a pink one. So she has boyish blue. Fashion FAIL!

4. The meds - Geri takes a lot of medication normally. Now that number is doubled. I wish I were joking. And two of the meds for her eye are ointments, not drops, so putting them in requires we hold her eye REALLY wide open while trying to squeeze the medicated gel onto her poor eye. While she's thrashing and screaming "Mommy!!!" over and over.

5. Her eye looks AWFUL - I'm debating whether to get a picture of this for two reasons. 1) In case anyone else has to go through this, they can see beforehand what to expect; and 2) you probably won't believe it when I try to explain in words. The "white" of her eye is bright red with blood. She has a couple of very bad bruises on her lower lid. The normal scarring of her cornea looks even worse. You can very barely see, in the right light, the line of the incision. But it's that redness in the sclera that makes it terrible. My husband calls it "raw hamburger" and he's pretty right on. And every time she needs her meds, we have to pull her lids wide open and see all that carnage.

And yet, somehow, I manage to be completely grateful for this operation. Yes, there are some seriously crappy, sucky, awful, hellish parts... but if we didn't do it, her vision would get worse and the eye could be lost entirely. As in rotting in her skull. So we opt for the surgery. And it's only about three weeks of this awfulness. After that, the eye will look much better and we can go to using the shield only at night and most of the meds will be done.

And isn't this much of what parenting boils down to? Making the not-fun decisions that your child needs because you know, as the grown-up, that the long-term gain is worth the short-term pain? Sometimes it's making them finish homework or practice the piano, and if that's the worst of it then you are one lucky parental duck. For the not-so-lucky among us, it can be painful treatments of yucky meds or scary surgeries. Still, it's all just the job of parenting and it's worth doing the hard way if that's the best thing for your child.

1 comment:

  1. you are one amazing mama!! ugh, we have had to do eye drops for pink eye last week, so I know maybe 5% of the pain you have. blessings and strength to you as you help Geri's eyes heal.